INDUSTRY ROUNDUP

Excerpt: Here are the news about the paints and coatings Industry across the world

Nippon Paint India unveils Kidz-child-friendly paints

NIPPON PAINT (INDIA) has targeted the home segment with a product marked safe for children.

“Called 'KIDZ' paint, this is targeted at a very niche market segment,” said S. Mahesh Anand, president — Decorative Business, Nippon Paint (India) Pvt. Ltd. “We have become industry pioneers in this paint category.”

Explaining further, he said the new product comprised anti-formaldehyde, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and superior washable properties, and would be costlier than the decorative paints available in the market. Initially, it would be available in Chennai city and rolled out country wide soon.

To begin with, Nippon Paint would target the home segment (interiors) and might look at schools, creche, playschool and other segments at a later stage.

'Good Q1 sales'

Talking about the performance of the paint industry, he said in the first quarter it reported good sales volume, which was not so encouraging in the second quarter. Northern parts of the country reported good sales during the Diwali season.

“We expect the industry to post 13% to 15% growth this fiscal against 10.5% reported last year. Our growth will be better than that of the industry,” he said.

Asked about Nippon PRO Stores that offered complete painting solutions, he said, “In the last one year, we have opened 13 stores in Chennai and two in Coimbatore. It is in a learning stage. The pilot will go on for another 18 months.”

Regarding the Chennai plant which produces decorative paints, he said its production capacity had increased from 40% to 56% and the target was to ramp it up to 80% in the next two to three years with the launch of new products.

Nerolac turns Kolkatta airport baggage belts into shade cards

KANSAI NEROLAC PAINTS has recently successfully turned conveyor belt at the baggage claim area of Kolkatta airport, into its own, animated, larger than life shade card (slash fan-deck). The company did it as an outdoor act in which conveyor belts featured shades of paints offered by Nerolac while also carrying gifts for travellers.

Nerolac's initial effort on these lines was conducted last year, during Diwali, at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai, on a single conveyor belt. The buzz generated encouraged the brand to craft a sequel. This year, the brand chose Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata and two conveyor belts; the unveiling coincided with Durga Puja. Max, BTL wing of DDB Mudra group had crafted the campaign. It ran for nine months in Mumbai and is set to run for the same timeline in Kolkata.

Peeyush Bachlaus, GM - marketing, Kansai Nerolac Paints, remarked that the initiative is special and closer to the heart since it retained the brand's concept of shades and colours while still allowing for a mass approach. He said that Indian airports, in general, including the baggage claim area, have been a hub for OOH ads with lots of digital displays etc. Nerolac has done their due diligence and found the baggage conveyor belt space to be quite beneficial to have repeated their campaign in another location this year.

"We came across the conveyor belt while looking for ambient advertising and didn't know if it could be used. Nobody had tried it here. While options like putting stickers around conveyors or using digital signboards at the airport were available, it took us a while to figure out the possibility and if this, as a media, could be bought at all. It was then included in our overall inspirational marketing activity for aiding the selection of shades."

“A lot of today's content is user-generated. We already had the digital propagation in our mind while planning it and only facilitated the positive content. When the previously unnoticed conveyor belt underwent a colourful change, it created conversations. With people mentioning us regularly, it has definitely given us a lot of positive visibility and brand love.”

"It doesn't come cheap and wasn't an easy investment or decision for us; we had to dwell upon it and think it through," Bachlaus says. He maintains that other than the monetary investment there was also the effort that went into preparation. Bachlaus adds, "Unlike overnight plans, it can't be delivered quickly. There are two ways of outdoor activation, either utilising/innovating existing media or creating something new. This is the latter where the ideation, as well as the innovating in its execution, required huge efforts, time and patience. It took months of testing and trials. There were no existing methods for testing it; not with us, the airport authorities or even the involved vendors. Testing solutions stretched over a long period and we eagerly awaited the final outcome. It was a test of patience."

"In such experimenting, either you have a damn good idea and know that it's going to work or the ecosystem supports it and it works. Both worked in our favour. The idea had a positive vibe while discussing it internally and we took the leap of faith. My only concern was perfect implementation. When I saw the first render, I knew that this was the thing," says Bachlaus.

"We did fail a lot. Even after implementation, there were challenges that had to be overcome. It was a learning experience and today, when we see people talking about it, it feels good," he adds smiling.

"We had little time, but we had to do it well and quickly. By the time we had the solution, we did not have time to include more airports. We went ahead with just one. Also, the conveyor belt designs vary from each other and from airport to airport. The solutions have to be individually tailored. The plates on the belts have to be wrapped one at a time, unlike any single part which could be pulled out, wrapped and reinstalled. The drill continues, till now, during the daily maintenance work," said Bachlaus .

Sanjay Shukla, COO, Max, BTL wing of DDB Mudra group says, "The idea stemmed from looking for a non-traditional media. The baggage belt presented us with the opportunity to showcase the entire shade card of the brand in an interesting manner. The number of planks on the belt is around 254 - just what we needed to show the range of colours by turning every plank into a shade.

"We were pretty sure that the media would break clutter and one spends a good amount of time at the baggage belt. However, we needed a 'bang' and did that through novel gifting during festivals. The baggage belt helped us reach many unique customers and has generated interesting queries. It created curiosity towards the brand while also generating great word-of-mouth. Thus, we continued our campaign," he adds.

Paint prices to go up in December

CRUDE oil prices are declining and the Rupee is stabilising against the dollar, but paint companies are are set to increase prices by 1.5 per cent from December-- the fourth time in a row they will be doing so.

Prices were last hiked in October, as companies like Asian Paints, Berger Paints, and Kansai Nerolac are hit byhigh input costs that have put pressure on margins.

An industry source said the price increase had been under consideration towards the end of the second quarter. “Despite previous price hikes, input costs have been on the rise as is evident from the second quarter results of any paints firm. We feel that a price hike needs to be made to make up for the rising input costs,” said the source.

Asian Paints, Berger Paints and others have already communicated about the impending hike to its dealers. However, industry officials suggested that if crude prices stabilises and the Rupee strengthens a decrease in prices might be considered.

“We never know if crude will again shoot up all of a sudden or how the Rupee will fare in the coming few months. If we see stabilised crude prices, then we will definitely think over to pass on the benefits to customers,” said the source.

Raw material cost increased during the September quarter, leading to a revision in prices for the October-December quarter.

The latest price tweak follows two rounds of hike in March and May with a cumulative rise of 4 per cent. The price increase is direct in the domestic segment, while for industrial consumers negotiations are ongoing, according to paint manufacturers.

“We decided not to pass on the raw material price increases during the quarter because GST had been lowered by 10 per cent on July 27, in spite of high inflationary pressures because of the fall in the rupee as well as increase in raw material prices. We have since then taken price increases of approximately 2.35 per cent in October 2018,” said KBS Anand, managing director of Asian Paints.

On the other hand, the hike from Berger Paints may be lower than what it was previously considering.

“Pressures have increased on account of higher inputs costs and thus increasing the prices was a definitive option. But let's see to what extent can it go up now that crude prices are on a downward trend,” said Abhijit Roy, managing director and CEO at Berger Paints, as he refused to narrow down on the percentage increase. Crude and its derivatives account for 25-40 per cent for any paint company's cost of raw materials and currency volatility puts at risk around 30-40 per cent of the total cost of production. “A fast depreciating Rupee has been haemorrhaging input costs for quite sometime now”, Roy said.

For companies like Asian Paints, whose decorative paints portfolio is considered strongest among the peers, crude prices can affect 25-30 per cent of production costs. For Berger Paints, which has a substantial exposure to industrial paints, the dependency is higher. For Nerolac, which is the strongest in automotive paints, higher crude prices can hurt margins.

On the other hand, a weak Rupee and a strong dollar have been putting pressure on the import bill of paint firms. Titanium dioxide, monomers, certain pigments and additives – raw material for paints – have to be imported. For any paint firm, the dependency on imports to manufacture paints stands at 30-40 per cent of the total production cost.

For Asian Paints, the largest company in this sector, cost of material consumed – an indicator of cost of production sans labour – rose by 33.27 per cent at Rs. 21.83 billion during the quarter ended September 30, 2018 while for Berger Paints, the same rose by 47.74 per cent to touch Rs. 8.20 billion. Kansai Nerolac registered a 25.38 per cent increase in cost of material consumed at Rs. 8.20 billion while the same for Akzo Nobel India, went up by 16.35 per cent at Rs. 3.70 billion.

Adhesive specialist-Bostik to maintain strong growth in India

BOSTIK, a subsidiary of French chemical major, Arkema and an adhesive specialist in construction, consumer and industrial markets, is looking grow further in India.

“With the rapid growth of India's adhesives market through disruptive innovations, we have new opportunities in the market,” said Mr. M.V. Ganeshan, Managing Director at Bostik India. According to global market research firm, TechSci, the adhesives market in India is estimated to exceed $1.3-bn by 2025 driven by growth of industries like building & construction, food & beverages, as well as furniture.

Bostik started its operations in 1992 in India through an agreement between Coates India & Bostik UK. Bostik India separated from Coates in 2001 to become an entity by itself. Since then, Bostik India has expanded considerably with three factories, 15 warehouses, four sales offices and headquarters in Bangalore. Recently, the company invested in modern equipment to produce advanced hot melt pressure sensitive adhesives (HMPSA) for a range of industrial sectors including tapes & labels, transportation and footwear production. Last year, the company opened a production facility in Gujarat to meet the increasing demand for adhesives in the industrial markets of India and South Asia. The new facility applies the latest manufacturing techniques to produce liquid adhesives for flexi-ble lamination and footwear.

“Our key strengths in India would include flexible food packaging where we would see a growth of more than 25% this year. With the market growing at more than 10% and also having the new plant in Gujarat to service a range of new and existing customers, we expect to keep up a strong growth momentum in this segment,” revealed Mr. Ganeshan.

Samsung Heavy Industries goes for solvent-free coatings

SAMSUNG Heavy Industries has applied a solvent-free coating on its liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrier, the shipbuilder said recently adding it is the first case of a commercial ship applying such an eco-friendly paint.

According to the company, it has successfully applied the solvent-free coating, which it jointly developed with Norwegian paint firm Jotun, to its 7,500 cubic-meter LNG carrier. The company said its solvent-free coating is an eco-friendly paint that is safe from fire and explosion hazard and harmless to humans.

Despite their advantages, existing solvent-free coatings in the market have not been popular in the shipbuilding industry because of their cost, time and high viscosity.

Also, domestic shipbuilders are faced with the government's tightened environmental regulations on hazardous air pollutants, requiring them to install air-cleaning facilities worth tens of billions of won. The company said its solvent-free coating will be a viable option for it to cut costs.

"It has been difficult to use robots or other automated methods for ship painting because existing solvent coatings pose an explosion hazard," Samsung Heavy Industries Production R&D Center head Nam Seong-kil said. "With this successful case, development for ship painting automation technology will be spurred and it will improve productivity."

EPA may be sued for not banning paint stripper chemical

A coalition of organizations in The USA is formally threatening to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USA for not banning a toxic chemical used in paint strippers. Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement and Earthjustice said that the EPA is obligated to ban the use of methylene chloride, but it has not yet taken action to do so.

The EPA proposed a ban in January 2017, under former President Obama. And while former EPA head Scott Pruitt promised to move forward with the ban earlier this year, the agency has not released a final version of the regulation.

In the meantime, eight major home improvement and auto parts retailers have taken their own actions to stop selling products containing methylene chloride.

“Since EPA proposed its methylene chloride ban, four American families have lost loved ones. In light of the Trump EPA's continued failure to act, retailers are stepping up and taking action to protect their customers from this dangerous chemical,” Liz Hitchcock, director of Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, said in a statement. “EPA must follow the home improvement industry's lead and ban these deadly paint removers from store shelves and workplaces nationwide.”

EPA spokeswoman Molly Block said the agency would "continue to work towards a solution" on methylene chloride.

"EPA is currently evaluating the proposal and regulation of this substance and its uses to determine the appropriate regulation — and its legal defensibility," she said in a statement. After the EPA didn't take any visible action on methylene chloride, Pruitt met in May with families of victims of the chemical. Following that meeting, EPA released a statement saying it would move forward with the ban, and Pruitt confirmed his intent to do so at a congressional hearing later that month.

Methylene chloride can cause asphyxiation, heart failure and death, while long-term exposure to small amounts can increase cancer risks.

The groups are bringing their action under the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act. The law requires them to submit notice 60 days before filing an actual lawsuit.

PPG and Lomon Billions extend and expand titanium-dioxide supply relationship

PPG and Lomon Billions have recently announced an expanded, multi-year titanium-dioxide (TiO2) supply agreement. Under the agreement, Lomon Billions will supply additional quantities of chloride- and sulfate-based TiO2 to PPG from Lomon Billions' existing manufacturing capacity. In addition, PPG has committed to purchasing additional supplies of chloride-based TiO2 from new manufacturing capacity that is currently being constructed by Lomon Billions and is expected to be on line in 2019. Lomon Billions is one of the world's leading TiO2 suppliers. Commercial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Over the past six years, Lomon Billions has been an excellent partner as the company has become the fourth largest global supplier of TiO2,” said Tim Knavish, PPG senior vice president, who oversees PPG's global supply management function. “This multi-year expansion of our supply agreement is a reflection of our continued confidence in the growing capability of Lomon Billions and their commitment to make ongoing investments in additional TiO2 manufacturing capacity. We look forward to continuing our work with Lomon Billions.”

“As Lomon Billions continues its growth through investing in innovative manufacturing of chloride- and sulfate-based TiO2, PPG has been one of our most important partners,” said Ruiqing Tan, Vice Chairman of Lomon Billions, who oversees the company's supply and sales functions. “This multi-year expansion agreement will create additional value for both companies. We look forward to continuing our partnership with PPG.”

Eastman completes construction of new isobutyric acid manufacturing facility

EASTMAN Chemical Company has completed a new isobutyric acid manufacturing facility at its Kingsport, Tennessee site in the USA, and expects production to begin within the next few weeks. The new facility, when added to the Longview, Texas site isobutyric acid manufacturing facility, doubles Eastman's production capacity.

"This additional production facility establishes Eastman as the premier supplier of isobutyric acid to the global market," said Brian Sanders, Chemical Intermediates segment Acetyls & Amines Product Stream director. "The investment demonstrates our continued commitment to providing reliable isobutyric acid supply to customers globally and to meet market demand for the product."

Eastman isobutyric acid can be found in a number of applications in various markets, including agriculture intermediates, food flavors and fragrance, and protective coatings.

Grauer and Weil (India) Ltd display impressive products at Wire India

GRAUER and Weil (India) Ltd participated in Wire India 2018 – the international Exhibition for the Wire and Cable Industry -- held from November 27 to 29 in Mumbai. This was the seventh edition of the expo that deals with materials, machinery and equipment for the manufacture of wires and cables, optical fibre cables, screws, springs, wire ropes and other wire products.

Grauer and Weil (India) Ltd displayed a host of stellar products mostly related to Lube & engineering. The company offers a wide range of specialized lubricants and oils in varied industrial applications under the brand name of GRODAL. With the use of latest and state of the art technologies, the products are designed to give high performance and provide cost effective solutions. All products are environment friendly and conform to stringent international standards and assure optimum quality to end users. Grauer and Weil (India) also manufactures and markets a wide range of engineering plants and auxiliary equipments tailor-made to meet the specific surface finishing requirements of every industry.

Wire India is known to be the most important and recommended wire and cable show where attendees have access to a wide and superior quality of cables which are required in all sectors like electrical, telecommunication, building and construction, transportation and manufacturing. Business discussions and professional activities which are part of the expo have received huge appreciation from experts who have visited the show over the years. The exhibition aims at bringing India's economic development to a higher level and its objective has increased the importance of the show in all over the world. Participants receive incredible business opportunities since an advanced range of products are demonstrated which have attracted attention and investment from foreign delegates as well. The conference provides opportunity for exchange and for building and expansion of business contacts.

Speaking about the expo, Yashwant Mahajan, DGM, R&D (Lubes), Grauer & Weil (India) Ltd, “Wire India is an impressive platform where various stakeholders from the industry meet to exchange knowledge and create networking opportunities. We are happy with the response our stall received and we could also meet many other experts from the industry to share opinions and knowledge.”

Hempel to gain market share with new Centre of Excellence

HEMPEL has recently officially opened its new Centre of Excellence in Barcelona. The centre's focus will be on the research and de-velopment of coating products within the field of passive fire protection in which Hempel is determined to gain market share during the next few years.

The new Centre of Excellence is strategically located just outside Barcelona in Spain, as Hempel has a long and successful history in the region. However, the activities and results carried out here will have a global reach. State-of-the-art research and development conducted by experts using the latest technology. Hempel has invested € 6 million in this new Centre of Excellence with 3,000 m2 laboratory, testing areas and offices. When fully operational the PFP Centre of Excellence will employ more than 30 highly qualified employees, many of them experts within their field.

“We are determined to develop the coatings industry within the PFP field on a global scale,” says Group Vice President and COO Lars Petersson. “PFP coatings are an important part of our growth strategy. But it is equally important to us to help protect the inside of our customers' assets and provide safety to the people working or staying there. And applying the right coating is crucial here.”

As a global leader in the coatings industry, Hempel is committed to increase its range of passive fire protection (PFP) coatings, and the entire Centre of Excellence is dedicated to this field, says an official release.

A strong organisation with a dedicated team

From 1 December, 29 employees will be working at Hempel's new Centre of Excellence. They will form a strong technical organisation, which consists of highly skilled technicians, applicators, fire testers, and scientists.

R&D Director in Barcelona Santiago Arias says: “The organisation at the new Centre of Excellence will continue the work in developing PFP products and testing solutions. Hempel already offers a range of PFP products, but the team is dedicated to moving forward and I can promise that our product portfolio will soon be expanded with solutions that our customers can trust to protect their buildings and industrial installations.”

For the past seven years, Hempel has grown within the field of PFP coatings, and with the new R&D Centre of Excellence in Barcelona, this journey continues.

Perstorp announces production capacity increase for Di-Penta.

PERSTORP has increased capacity of di-pentaerythritol i.e. Di-Penta with 40% at site Perstorp. This is a result of improved efficiency and debottlenecking at all Di-Penta producing sites.

Di-Penta is used in a vast number of applications such as UV cured coatings, synthetic lubricants, high solids alkyd coatings, fire resistant Charmor™ coatings and lead-free PVC stabilizers. Di-Penta brings properties such as a thermo-stability, UV-stability, weather-, chemical- and scratch resistance. It's also a very important raw material in many environmentally friendly applications.

As the largest global producer of Di-Penta, leading specialty chemicals company Perstorp, is working on all fronts to meet the increased customer demand of Di-Penta and the performance it offers. Since years back the entire industry has suffered from shortages in the Di-Penta market. To secure product availability Perstorp has worked to maximize Di-Penta production capacity which now has resulted in a capacity increase and a fully available product.

Kent Hamacek, Product Manager, Advanced Polyols & Formates says “We strongly believe in Di-Penta and will work hard to continue to grow with our customers and customer's customer, bringing new and innovative solutions to market”.

The complete strategy to meet customer demand for Perstorp Di-Penta now and in the future also includes a number of innovation projects focused on application development for complementary solutions.

Nouryon recognized for its collaboration with startups

NOURYON (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals) has been recognized by European startups for its collaboration efforts under the Imagine Chemistry innovation program.

The European Commission's Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) initiative nominated the most active corporate firms in open innovation. The 'SEP Europe's Corporate Startup Stars 2018' lauded 36 companies – Nouryon was the only chemical firm in the ranking.

“At Nouryon, we recognize that much of the world's innovation capability is outside our company. We want to tap into that potential and to see where we can work as equal partners and turn innovative ideas into reality,” said Peter Nieuwenhuizen, the company's Chief Technology Officer.

“We invest in collaborative innovation to drive growth and create sustainable solutions for our customers. One of the key ways that we execute this is via our Imagine Chemistry program, which we launched in 2017. We are therefore proud to be recognized for how we work with startups to solve specific problems – be it something our customers or we ourselves have identified – through the challenge-based approach of Imagine Chemistry.”

The 'SEP Europe's Corporate Startup Stars 2018' ranking was produced by open innovation advisory firm Mind the Bridge and innovation foundation Nesta.

Beckers opens new site in Vietnam

BECKERS has opened a second manufacturing site in Vietnam. Located in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park in Nghe An, the purpose of this strategic investment is to deliver outstanding customer support to the North of Vietnam. Beckers' existing facility near Ho Chi Minh City has been in operation since 2007.

Hua Hin Zow heads this small operation comprised of production and laboratory as well as all technical, financial and HR functions. Initially, four mixers with an annual capacity of over 1000 tonnes will be largely dedicated to the new facility of one of Beckers' customers, Vietnam's largest coil coater, which is located close by. The site has room for growth, which will be vital in order to cater to the color coil coating lines expected to start producing for the growing Vietnamese market. Beckers is already supplying to other customers in North Vietnam who will benefit from the shorter transportation times of the Nghe An location.

According to COO Karsten Eller, Beckers' strategy for local growth will be to focus on operational excellence, including the close contact and strong technological service that are essential to enable Beckers' customers to become more successful. Just 15 minutes away from Vinh airport and the city center, the new location in one of the best-managed industrial parks in Vietnam will help ensure growth is guaranteed.

ACI releases Concrete structure Specs Text

THE American Concrete Institute recently announced the availability of a new publication for concrete industry professionals: the ACI 563-18: Specifications for Repair of Concrete in Buildings.

The material is a reference specification that professionals can apply to any construction repair and rehabilitation project involving structural concrete, ACI says. Mandatory requirements and optional requirements checklists are also provided to assist in the tailoring to specific projects.

“The first of its kind, ACI 563-18 joins ACI's growing family of concrete repair industry documents aimed at demystifying concrete repair and facilitating the delivery of high quality, well-executed, cost-effective concrete repair solutions,” said Tracy Marcotte, Principal, CVM and Chair, ACI Committee 563: Specifications for Repair of Structural Concrete in Buildings.

“ACI 563-18 can be tailored for any project, big or small, using conventional concrete or proprietary repair materials for any project delivery type, from traditional design-bid-build to design-build, and for both private and public projects. Sections include typical concrete and reinforcement requirements plus those particular to repair projects, including shoring and bracing, as well as existing reinforcement and concrete surface preparation. Architects, engineers and specifiers will appreciate the minimum basic requirements encoded into the specification, with guidance included for tailoring companion technical drawings and specifications to communicate specific project needs. Owners and contractors will appreciate the clear delineation of responsibilities, QA/QC and documentation requirements, facilitating no surprises in procurement and execution of the work.”

Provisions on governing testing, evaluation and acceptance of repair materials as well as acceptance of the repair work are also included, and sections nine and 10 incorporate two other specifications—ACI 503.7 and ACI 506.2—to cover crack repair by epoxy injection and shotcrete, respectively.

ACI 563-18 complements ACI 562 Code Requirements for Assessment, Repair and Rehabilitation of Existing Concrete Structures, according to the institute, and the ACI 562 code requirements combine the institute's historical knowledge with state-of-the-art resources on the evaluation, repair and rehabilitation of concrete buildings.